Junior Pervis Louder broke a tie game with a 3-pointer and completed a drive with a thunderous dunk with 3.7 seconds left to lead Air Force past Denver, 61-59, Saturday afternoon in a non-conference men’s basketball game at Magness Arena in Denver Colo.
Air Force took its first lead of the game, 56-55, with a Lavelle Scottie 3-pointer with 1:59 left. Daniel Amigo tied the game at 56-all with 1:16 left with a free throw to set up Louder’s final heroics. He hit a three with 51 seconds left to make it 59-56, then following two free throws by Jake Holtzmann, took a handoff from Trevor Lyons and drove down the lane for the dunk. Denver turned the ball over with .8 seconds left and the Falcons inbounded the ball to seal it.
Ryan Manning scored a game-high 19 points and added five rebounds to lead the Falcons. Louder added a career-high 14 points and Lyons added five points and team highs of three assists and six rebounds. Air Force hit 38.2 percent from the field and just 25.0 percent from three and were out-rebounded, 37-30, but forced a season-high 23 turnovers, including 14 in the first half to overcome a 22-point deficit.
The victory snaps a 22-game road losing streak for Air Force, who won for the first time on the road since a 67-60 win at UC Davis Dec. 19, 2015. The Falcons improved to 1-2 on the road this season and posted their second straight win at Denver.
Denver was led by Amigo, who had 11 points and nine rebounds. Joe Rosga added 11 points before fouling out and Holtzmann chipped in with 10 points. DU shot 43.2 percent from the field, but just 29.4 percent in the second half.
The first half featured two different significant runs. Denver out-scored Air Force, 27-5, over the first 10 minutes. The Pioneers hit 10-14 FGs, while Air Force was just 2-11. Air Force used a 20-5 run to cut the lead to seven, 32-25, with 4:18 left in half. The Falcons hit 6-9 during the run while holding Denver to just 2-10. The Falcons finished the half with a 22-11 advantage in the final 10 minutes overall to cut the lead to 38-27 at the half.
Air Force improves to 4-3 overall this season while Denver falls to 3-5. The Falcons are back in action Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at home vs. Western State.